Women hired to strip at Maynooth student night
Two women were hired to strip naked at an event organised by a sabbatical officer of Maynooth Students’ Union (MSU) last Monday, Trinity News has learned.
Ben Finnegan, the incumbent MSU President, and Mal Callan, the Vice-President for Services, Events and Communications, were both present in the room as the women removed their underwear on stage, danced around an Irish flag, and gave lap dances to a number of male students in the audience.
Callan organised the event in question after having agreed to take part in a charity mock wedding with the Welfare Officer of DCU Students’ Union (DCUSU) on Wednesday. He promoted it as a “stag night with strippers” on the Facebook event page for the mock wedding.
Though a source close to the officer has claimed that the stag night was held independently of MSU, the event took place in the union bar on campus and was marketed as a precursor to the Wednesday wedding which Maynooth students could purchase tickets to through MSU.
In a private Facebook post published hours before the stag night, the Vice-President for Services, Events and Communications wrote, “Please come along to my stag do in the SU from 9. Or if you want to see the scantily clad ‘exotic dancers’, skip straight to 10 o’clock. This is my last big night of debauchery until the ball and chain of misery that is my wife-to-be Lorna Finnegan [DCUSU Welfare Officer] enslaves me in a life of bitter regret.”
He had previously stated on the public Facebook event page for the mock wedding that the date for the stag night had not yet been confirmed as he would “need to see when my strippers are free”.
Trinity News understands that campus security had not been informed of the planned performance, despite the fact that the event’s organisers spent the day erecting a stage in the MSU bar.
Pictures and videos of the women were subsequently posted online by both students and bar staff present on Monday night. A sabbatical officer subsequently requested that a video posted on Facebook be removed.
Callan has since stepped down from his sabbatical position to manage to the re-election campaign of the incumbent MSU President, who is seeking a second term in office. Maynooth students head to the polls this Wednesday to elect four full-time sabbatical officers.
Though Callan has claimed that the women were paid by “groomsmen” for the event, repeated student requests to view MSU accounts were denied last week and the student newspaper that Callan edits – which was due to publish details of the union’s accounts last week – has been cancelled as a result of his resignation.
The Maynooth Board of Trustees met Callan along with campus security on Wednesday, but a statement has yet to be issued by any party.
When contacted by Trinity News yesterday, Finnegan said he was not able to speak to us. Callan said he could not comment on the record.
UPDATE: President of MSU, Ben Finnegan, has since denied that the strippers were paid for using SU funds and that the SU accounts would be released once they were finalised. He also stated that college authorities were unaware that the event was taking place. In a statement given by NUI Maynooth, the college stated that “we have complained in the strongest possible regard to the officers of the Students Union. Our Security Department is establishing the facts of what took place, with a view to taking strong disciplinary action.” Students marched on MSU offices today in protest against the culture of sexism they say the union has promoted.
(Updated on 13th March at 6pm)
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